DICE's Star Wars Battlefront vs Free Radical's Star Wars Battlefront 3

After playing through DICE's recent reboot of the Battlefront franchise over the last year I've still felt it still left a lot to be desired. With that, I thought I'd give it a comparison to what could have been going off of the many leaked mini videos. This of course was footage from the fabled Star Wars Battlefront 3 which was to be released from Free Radical. That game never came out due to reasons that were never a hundred percent confirmed which was odd considering how apparently far it was in development. That game was targeting a release for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC with there still being some mystical builds lost out there in the universe. Anyways, I thought it would be neat to take a look at both of these titles based on what has been released so far and compare them. While I will forever wish we got Battlefront 3 from Free Radical, DICE's take has been alright as well.

The first aspect which you'll notice right away is in terms of the graphics. I've thrown in a video featuring six awesome minutes from Battlefront 3 to check out and I'm sure you've either played the recent Battlefront or have seen gameplay. The newer game obviously features better graphics than the older model, but the original had graphics with the charm of other Battlefront titles. This being in the slightly cartoonish graphic set they used to have that instantly made you know it was a Battlefront game. I need to give the edge to the newer one in this regard as it looks amazing on all platforms and DICE really nailed it.

As you can see from the trailer the game certainly looked great from what they had ready to show and we'll continue the comparisons. The next area is to look at is the offerings for space/air combat. I want to focus on this spot since Free Radical stated they had technology that would die with them. This was of course the start in space and fly down to planet during a match so games were essentially having space combat while infantry battles were going on. No game has been able to accomplish this since then and Battlefront doesn't come close to tackling that. In the DICE version combat in the air is limited to the maps since it's largely based on Battlefield. With the DLC they've added a couple space areas though these are mostly locked in sections and don't carry the same concept of actually battling in space with a purpose, Free Radical's was definitely better.

As far as character and environmental models go I'd say that both capture the feel of Star Wars perfectly in their own graphical ways considering their development eras. This also goes to the point that Battlefront 3 would have featured a full campaign that seemed to be composed of entirely new material. Galactic Conquest would have mostly likely also returned which allowed conquest of planets and battling the AI over solar systems. DICE has put in a survival mode and a few small missions in their Battlefront, but these are honestly just boring and tacked on to add some sort of single player. They also opted out of doing a campaign in favor of an online only experience despite keeping the same price. I'm fine with multiplayer only games personally as that's where the most time is spent, the price should have been less at launch though. Heroes are another topic for this area since they are characters essentially and both games feature them. In the latest game you get things by collecting power-ups on the map and in the original Battlefront games it was performance based which is better in my opinion. There also seemed to be more hero options for Battlefront 3 since that game spanned the entire saga and extended. By the end of the season pass for the new Battlefront the selection was surprisingly deep though most were odd characters few wanted to see and mostly reskins of Han Solo.

That last comment will be continued as I explore the worlds that both games have. Battlefront featured a number of maps at launch with a couple free ones a month after and while they were well designed, many just took place on different areas of the same map. From the looks of the Battlefront 3 it would have featured a much larger roster of planets based on the leaked gameplay, I would say that would equal out to more maps, but to be fair I'm going to say it would be about the same. The season pass for Battlefront actually added a ton of new maps though they were once again all in the same area or region with Scarif maps being an absolute singular blur. I imagine Battlefront 3 would have included DLC as well though most likely less maps as DLC was often three maps of three maps during that time in gaming. Battlefront 3 would also have included planets from every era in Star Wars including extended whereas the new game was only using maps from the Original Trilogy along with a small set from recent movies Episode VII and Rogue One.

Star Wars Battlefront Scarif map Jungle

One more place to look at would be the playlists and options present for various modes. DICE is well known for the Battlefield series so you would instantly know they'd turn this into a more objective focused title. Traditionally the Battlefront series only featured a conquest mode to capture positions and capture the flag for core game types. The edge of course goes to DICE since objective based gameplay is generally better, but on the side of that the balancing has been very one-sided for the game. I also wanted to mention that Battlefront 3 would have featured hunt modes among other fun ones where you battle indigenous creatures on planets like Ewoks, Wampas or Gungans with this nowhere to be found in DICE's take.

I tried my best to cover various points that matched up well in both titles while keeping an open mind for both games. I understand one got fully released and other could have been a complete disappoint for all we know, but its fun to make the comparisons. From what I've seen of the various alpha of beta builds for the game it could have been amazing and hopefully someday a Battlefront 3 PC build gets sent out into the wild. I felt DICE's effort created an alright game though it just wasn't anything revolutionary and they didn't really push anything aside from graphics. Personally I give the edge to the game I always wanted to play, but you can make that decision yourself based on the points for both and experiences in viewing either title.

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Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner